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Art* . / /ityricU>n&
No.66 November, 1962
RESOURCE MANAGEMENT REPORT
These Reports are for Intra-Departmental Information
and Not for Publication
DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS
Hon. A. Kelso Roberts, Q.C. F.A. MacDougall
Minister Deputy Minister
No.66 November, 1962
RESOURCE MANAGEMENT REPORT
These Reports are for Intra-Departmental Information
and Not for Publication
Fish and Wildlife Branch
DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS
Hon. A. Kelso Roberts, Q.C. F.A. MacDougall
Minister Deputy Minister
Digitized by the Internet Archive
RESOURCE MANAGEMENT REPORT
TABLE OF CONTENTS
No. 66 November, 1962
The Survey of Idle and Abandoned Farm Land in
the Tweed Forest District, 1961, - by W. D. Tieman 1
Fish and Game on Agreement Forests (As Seen
by a Forester). - by R. J. K. Murphy 5
The Lake Penage Deer Yard's 1962 Spring Deer
Survey with Observations on Habitat Changes in
the Area. - by D. R. Hughson 9
1962 Winter Aerial Census of Woodland Caribou
( Rangifer tarandus ) in the Pickle Crow-Armstrong
and Kowkash - Martin Falls Regions.
- by B. H. Gibson 19
Lynx Live Trapping Project in White River District.
- by E. J. Mitchell 25
Wood Duck Banding, Pembroke District, 1961.
- by W. R. Catton 34
Duck Banding-Gogama District, 1961.
- by Bruce Turner 40
French River Angling, 1961. - by J. M. Sheppard 46
Taxonomy of Lake Nipissing Pike-Perch.
- by Wilson Sinclair 57
Some Observations on a Winter Creel Census on Two
Lakes in the Killarney Area, 1962.
- by L. E. Drolet 61
(THESE REPORTS ARE FOR INTRA-DEPARTMENTAL
INFORMATION AND NOT FOR PUBLICATION)
SURVEY OF IDLE AND ABANDONED FARM
LAND IN THE TWEED FOREST DISTRICT
W. Do Tieman
Timber Management Forester
As a companion study to, and adopting the same
survey procedure as the Survey of Production from
Private Woodlands in Tweed District , the extent
of abandoned and idle cleared land was estimated
to be 7° 5$ of all patented lands. Based on the
judgment of owners, 90% (about 207 thousand acres)
of lands not otherwise in use could be planted.
For some time , the problem of increasing areas of aban-
doned and idle farm land in Eastern Ontario has occupied the
attention and concern of government agencies responsible for
resource management and economic development. Because much of
this non-productive agricultural land has shown varying degrees
of potential for timber and fish and wildlife production, as
well as recreation and water conservation, the Department of
Lands and Forests has been particularly interested in this
The survey described herein was carried out to deter-
mine the extent of abandoned and idle farm land in the Tweed
Forest District. In addition, an attempt was made to determine
how much of this non-productive farm land might be considered
suitable for growing trees.
During the summer of 1961 , the Tweed District Staff
of the Department of Lands and Forests, in co-operation with
the Federal Department of Forestry and the Dominion Bureau of
Statistics, carried out a survey of the production of forest
products cut from privately owned woodlands in the Tweed Dist-
rict. The survey of idle farm lands was carried out as a supple-
mentary part of that survey. The method was designed by the
Dominion Bureau of Statistics and applied to both surveys.
The Tweed District was broken into five strata or
types based on broad land -use patterns.
Strata 1. Predominantly agricultural area along the
north shore of Lake Ontario in the south
part of the Tweed District; heavy soils
- 2 -
Strata 2. A mixed farming, forestry and recreational
area of low productivity; shallow soils over
Strata 3. Predominantly agricultural area along the
Ottawa River; relatively deep soils over
Strata 4. Predominantly forested area; medium to shal-
low soils over granite .
Strata 5. Mixed farming and forestry area along the
Madawaska River Valley; medium to deep sandy
soils over granite.
Random blocks of patented land of varying sizes were
selected within each Strata. All resident landowners within each
selected block were contacted by Department of Lands and Forests
Staff. Absentee owners were contacted through the mail by The
Federal Department of Forestry.
Only those persons contacted by Department of Lands
and Forests Staff were questioned concerning idle and abandoned
farm land. A sample questionnaire is attached.
Land ( 2 )
Area of Pat-
ented Land (2)
3 = 8
(1) Figures report in F.R.I. Survey 1957-
(2) All land except Crown and Federal lands.
Using a ratio of total patented land area sampled to
total patented land in each strata, it is estimated from the
survey that there are some 230,000 acres of cleared farm land
which is not being used for farming, in the Tweed Forest Dist-
rict. This figure includes completely abandoned farm land as
well as idle farm land on active farms. This figure does not
include pasture lands presently being used as such.
: - ■ •
- 3 -
On the basis of the owners judgement as to the suita-
bility of this idle land for the planting and growing of trees,
it is estimated that some 90% of this area of idle farm land is
suitable for forest production . Because of the common miscon-
ception that trees can be planted and grown successfully on
almost any poor soil, this figure is likely high.
Table 2 Survey Estimates
of Patented Land Cleared Land
( acres) Not being used
( acres F
S5 . 5%
From a survey carried out in 1961, it is estimated that
7-5% of all patented land in the Tweed District is cleared farm
land which is not being used for farming purposes . Of this total
of 230,000 acres, 90% might be considered suitable for forest pro-
- 4 -
Survey of Forest Production from Private Land in Ontario
1, Total area of land acres, (from Form I) „
2o Forested acres acres, (from Form I)*
3» Has any portion of the land been cleared for agriculture
at any time?
4o If "Yes" under (3) s how many acres?
5« How many acres of this cleared land are not being
used for farming purposes?
6o How many acres of the cleared land which is not being
used for farming purposes could be planted with trees?
7« Have any trees been planted on the cleared land which
is not being used for farming purposes?
If "yes", how many trees?
(For Tweed District Office Use Only)
- 5 -
FISH AND GAME ON AGREEMENT FORESTS
(as seen by a forester)
R. J. K. Murphy
The 160,000 acres of Agreement Forests in Southern
Ontario offer an opportunity to demonstrate multiple
use management and at the same time alleviate some of
the increasing demand for areas on which hunting and
fishing may be enjoyed. Several suggestions are
advanced based on the author r s experience as a fores-
ter in the Lake Erie District during the period 1949-1960,
and on a lifetime interest in trout fishing and small-
In Southern Ontario, almost all, but not quite all, of the
land is privately owned. The landowner (except for very few
who charge for hunting or fishing privileges) can derive no
revenue in the way of grants or tax relief for providing good
wildlife cover. In spite of an increase in the number of biolog-
ists, the improvement of the technical level of conservation offi-
cers, and establishment of Watershed Conservation Authorities, the
game habitat in Southern Ontario has deteriorated during this last
decade. Suitable environment is being constantly destroyed by
enlarging agricultural fields, chemically spraying fence rows,
converting rail and stump fences to wire or electric, pasturing
woodlots and by specialization in one crop economies (i.e., tob-
acco). In addition, more and more private land is being posted
Resource managers realize we can transport timber products
from Northern and Central Ontario to Southern Ontario, but we
cannot move wildlife habitat. We can, however, create, improve,
protect, renew, or prolong those conditions which will enhance
fish and game production on areas over which we have influence.
The largest acreage of publicly-owned land in Southern Onta-
rio is the Agreement Forest area, Planting open fields, exclud-
ing livestock and improvement cutting, has unintentionally and
automatically improved conditions for wildlife, but little planned
specific action takes place toward this goal. (Exception is an
area adjoining Luther Marsh. )
On the 160,000 acres of agreement forests there are four
broad situations where habitat improvement could be part of the
overall management plan.
(1) Large areas of protection forest, such as much of the Bruce
Peninsula or Moira Forest, which does not warrant silvicultural
expenditure for timber production at present.
- 6 -
(2) Small areas in productive forest tracts which are too
wet, too steep, too dry, too small, or too heavily covered
with non-commercial vegetation to provide an adequate return
as a forestry investment.
(3) Areas or facilities within the forest used for access or
(4) The productive forest area.
Possible Projects and Scope
The first set of circumstances are areas of quite wet or
thin soil sites. Many foresters would like to see these areas
managed mainly if not solely for wildlife product ion . While
inventory is not complete it is estimated that there are at
least 16,000 acres in blocks of 100 acres or more which must be
at the present time considered protection forest. In a recent
land acquisition by Big Creek Authority a 100-acre area was pur-
chased and placed under agreement, although it has virtually no
forest production potential. However, most of the acreage pur-
chased by this Authority is productive. These areas of consider-
able protection forest may occur in most agreement forests, but
the most significant are in the Upper Thames, Grand, Bruce, Vic-
toria, Napanee , Moira and Grenville forests.
The second situation exists on virtually all forests. The
amount of land available for mainly fish and wildlife production
might vary from less than 5% on York County to over 20% on many
other forests. If 10% is taken as an average, then 12,000 acres
could be devoted to habitat improvement .
Suggested projects are as follows:
(A) Planting small fields or seasonally flooded areas to
cereal crops and leaving same unharvested.
(B) Simply leaving some difficult sites in the present
scrub-shrub-pioneer forest vegetation.
(C) Planting suitable shrubs or trees which provide a
food supply in areas too small to constitute a poten-
tial forest stand.
The third class of projects would be used for wildlife hab-
itat, facilities which are on the forests for other purposes.
(A) Enlarging or adapting existing ponds to the point
where they would provide useful waterfowl, fish or
muskrat environment .
(B) Enpounding water in ravines.
(C) Planting currently worked fireguards to an annual plant
like buckwheat. (Buckwheat planted July 1 should remain
green until frost.)
- 7 -
(D) Plant suitable dwarf deciduous shrubs on temporarily-
abandoned roads or fireguards.
(E) Stream improvement.
(F) Artificial food, cover, or nesting accommodation.
The opportunities for the above type of project vary greatly
from forest to forest. Pond sites can be found on most of the
high water table properties in Erie and Huron Districts. Three
natural kettle ponds and four dug ponds exist on York Forest.
The drier sand plains, interlobate moraines and shallow
soil areas would offer little possibility for pondwork.
Ravines with continuous or seasonal stream-flow are common
on most of the till soils, and wherever the sand soils are not too
deep. For example, four dams have been constructed on York County,
and three other places exist where one-half to one acre impound-
ments could be built without serious damage to surrounding timber.
Naturally the acre-foot cost and possible timber destruction must
be considered before estimating the number of opportunities that
exist for impoundments .
Fireguard networks are maintained through most of the sand
plain and interlobate moraines. For example, York County has
about 40 miles of fireguard. As the plantations grow older, inter-
ior fireguards are often not cultivated. 1 - 2% of most productive
forests could be considered roads or fireguards.
Trout streams exist on one Big Creek Property in Erie District,
on a few tracts within the Ganaraska watershed and on several prop-
erties in Simcoe District. In Grey and Bruce counties over 20
different tracts contain or adjoin some 15 miles of trout water.
Some of these streams need no improvement, while others could pro-
duce more or larger fish with work being done on them.
Creating artificial conditions, such as feeding stations,
pheasant release pens, wood duck nests, etc., might depend largely
on the interests of the local caretaker, the local conservation
officer, and the proximity of the property to the home of the
officer concerned. It is sufficient to say we do have publicly-
owned property where these activities could take place.
The fourth aspe ct is to modify woods operations in activity,
time, or extent to improve or prolong wildlife habitat.
Some actions could be :
(a) Do stand improvement work in late autumn so that browse
(from tops) will be available for food during winter months.
(b) Spread harvest operations on an annual basis so that regen-
eration and y? tops n browse will be available on a continu-
- 8 -
(c) When it is debatable which way a stand should be treated
from a silvicultural consideration, the decision could
be made in favour of the method which will enhance hab-
There are some reasonable objections to devoting funds to en-
hance Agreement Forests for public hunting:
(1) It may be felt the acreages involved are too limited to war-
(2) The increased use of area could lead to increased fire haz-
ard, theft, and vandalism.
(3) There might be a drop in overall timber production.
(4) Confusion or controversy might ensue regarding what division
should supply funds and what expenditures are a legitimate charge
to the forest.
Some benefits that should accrue by specifically improving
fish and wildlife habitat are :
(1) Increased hunting and fishing.
(2) Interest stimulated in forestry by a larger cross-section of
(3) A place available in Southern Ontario where biologists can
actually try out ideas and set an example for interested private
(4) Greater interest in forestry and property protection might
be taken by conservation officers.
(5) With the increase in posted lands, an answer can be given
to the hunters when they ask, "Where can we hunt?"
(6) If hunting or fishing improved considerably on these areas,
conservation officers could concentrate their efforts here. Much
time must be spent now patrolling areas where game and hunters are
(7) Some land on which it is quite uneconomic to practise for-
estry would be withdrawn from same, and thus forestry expenditure
would be reduced.
Some of the above thoughts are the result of:
(A) Experience as a conservation officer, as well as a fores-
ter, and thus having direct contact with hunters.
(B) Partaking in (1) upland game hunting, (2) rabbit hunting,
and (3) trout fishing on agreement forests.
(C) Having the acquaintance and co-operation of Fish and Wild-
life personnel in Erie District for several years.
- 9 -
THE LAKE PENAGE DEER YARD'S 1962 SPRING DEER SURVEY
WITH OBSERVATIONS ON HABITAT CHANGES IN THE AREA
D. R. Hughson
Conservation Officer, Sudbury District
From a survey carried out in the Penage Lake deer
yards it was calculated that the 1961-62 wintering
deer density was 16. 5 deer per square mile and the
winter mortality was 3.2 dead deer per square mile.
A marked reduction of the 1961-62 winter deer range
over that occupied by deer in 195S-59 was evident
in this area. A review of the early logging history
suggests a parallel in the changes observed in the
deer herd. Three experimental areas were cut as a
habitat improvement project using voluntary assist-
ance. A "cut and push' system provided immediate
browse which was used almost at once by the wintering
herds. It was found that 3 man-days are required to
cut a one acre area.
In r^arch of 1961 the writer, having completed several
cruises of the Lake Penage Deer Yards, submitted a short report
of his findings and a personal evaluation of the deer situation for
this area to the Sudbury District Fish and Wildlife office. This
report was subsequently forwarded to Maple where it was given
It was pointed out in the reply from Maple that more facts
were needed to substantiate the writer's opinions and estimates.
This report is designed to supply some of the missing facts and
The 1961 report covered the townships of Atlee , Bevin,
Caen, Dieppe, Gos ''sn and Sale (Map 1). The 1961-62 winter range,
as mapped in February, 1962, falls primarily within the townships
of Caen and Goschen (Map 2). During the winter of 1953-59 the
wintering concentration was located in Dieppe, Bevin and Sale, as
well as Caen and Goschen (Map 2).
- 10 -
The overstory of the 1961-62 yarding area consists of
red and hard maple, ironwood and a scattering of conifer. The under-
story is typically striped, red and hard maple, with an abundance
of hazel. Some balsam fir and white spruce regeneration is also
present. The topography is normally rolling ridges covered to
depths of up to six inches of leaf litter and glacial till. About
5 per cent of the area is swamp.
While map 2 suggests that there may be as many as four
concentration areas in Caen and Goschen townships this pattern is
entirely superficial. This report will deal separately with the
three individual units as surveyed and with all three units as a
composite wintering area.
Forty-one land use permits were issued in 1961 for hunt
camps in the Lake Penage area. Approximately 300 private camps are
located on Lake Penage and another 30 on adjacent waters. One
hundred of the Lake Penage camps are used as deer hunt camps, as
are the 30 camps. Also, in the area are three commercial camps
that accommodate deer hunters.
This survey was carried out with the assistance of seven
Royal Canadian Air Force Ground Search and Rescue men from the Radar
Station at Falconbridge .
The methods used in the survey and the formulae used in
the report are those outlined by Mulligan and Trodd (I960).
Fifteen chain intervals were allowed between crotesing plot lines.
A wintering period of 120 days is used in the calculations. The
deer moved into the area in mid- December and out by mid- April.
All evidence of moose and wolves was recorded by the
survey crews .
SURVEY RESULTS AND CALCULATIONS
Map 3 provides the survey area on a larger scale with
the cruise lines and units marked in.
3$ crotesing plots were examined and 2.4 miles of lines
were searched for deer carcasses.
Seven crotesings or an average of .184 crotesings per plot
and no carcasses were found in Unit 1.
.184 x 100 x 640 = 7.7 deer/sq. mi.
12.7 x 120
Ten crotesings were found on 36 plots producing an average
of .277 per plot. No dead deer were located along 2.3 miles of
.277 x 100 x 640 - 11.4 deer/sq. mi.
12.7 x 120
- 11 -
A total of 61 crotesing plots averaging .590 crotesing
per plot were examined and 3.8 miles of line searched for dead deer
in Unit 3« One deer carcass (that of a year old animal) was located
in this area,
.590 x 100 x 640 _ 24. 8 deer/sq. mi.
12.7 x 120
1 x 640 _ . , ,
91,2 7 °0 deer carcasses/sq. mi.
Three Units Combined
One hundred and thirty-five crotesing plots yielded a
total of 53 crotesings or an average of .392 per plot. One dead deer
was found in 202.5 acres of survey strips.
,392 x 100 x 640 ,, c , /
12.7 x 120 = 16.5 deer/sq. mi.
2 Q2 I = 3.2 deer carcasses/sq. mi.
The combined area of the three units is 1.80 square miles.
This area represents about 50 per cent of the total Lake Penage winter
range as mapped from the air in February, 1962, and examined by foot
and snow toboggan during the winter months. While there are larger
yarding areas to the south, it is the opinion of the writer, collabo-
rated by information received from Conservation Officer L. E. Drolet
on deer movements that the Killarney Mountains provide a topographical
boundary of deer range. This then means that the yards shown in Map
2 represents the winter range for the deer supplying the Lake Penage
hunters. It should also be noted from Map 2 that there has been a
considerable constriction of the range used by deer during the period,
since the winter of 1958-59.
A total of six moose crotesings were found on the deer
crotesing plots during the survey and four wolf scats were found
on the dead deer strips.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION
The Lake Penage country provided its best deer hunting
during the 1930* s and 40 ? s. It was during the 40* s that a slight
decline in the success was first noted. This downward trend continued
at an increasing rate during the 50 9 s until the severe winter of
1958-59* when a very marked change took place. Deer were no longer
seen regularly along the lake's shores, evidence of deer activity
became scarce and the number of animals killed each fall drastically
- 12 -
A review of the lumber industry suggests a similar change
in forest conditions. Timber operators who were active in the first
decade of this century undoubtedly would be faced with a similar
problem to that of the hunters. They would be hard pressed to find
merchantable timber in the area,,
Thorpe (1951) provides us with an interesting review of
the lumbering industry in this area during the first 50 years of the
20th century. For example, the Victoria Harbour Lumber Company over
a 16 year period (1908-25) removed from Bevin, Dieppe and Caen
townships a total of 115,000,000 feet of white and red pine sawlogs
and about 3,000,000 feet of hemlock and white spruce. Chew Brothers
operating in Goschen township in the years 1918-47 cut 53,000,000
feet of red and white pine, along with the following:
1,000,000 feet birch;
2,500,000 feet white spruce;
9,000,000 feet hemlock;
500,000 feet cedar logs;
110,000 feet ash;
200,000 feet maple;
60,000 feet oak;
15,000 cords mixed pulpwood;
600 cedar poles;
1,000 cedar posts.
As a comparison to this early operation of Chew Brothers,
E. Salo working in Goschen township in the period 1959-61 cut;-
34,850 feet of red and white pine;
6,438 feet of birch;
3,000 feet spruce;
16,340 feet hemlock;
439 feet cedar;
52 cords of hardwood fuelwood.
Salo's annual cut represents about 3 per cent of Chew
Brothers annual cut. Old residents of the area recall these large
operations early in the century and the gradual build up of deer.
When questioned at length they revealed the conditions which we con-
sider ideal for deer. Today it is difficult to find deer range in
the Lake Penage area at all comparable to their descriptions.
The Lake Penage area, because of its limited access routes,
provides the Sudbury District with one of its best sources of hunter
success information. Prior to the decline of the deer herd a check-
ing station located on the Penage Lake road provided this district
with an adequate sample of hunter statistics. Since the decline, the
author has been pressed to contact sufficient hunters to make the
data collected worthwhile.
With access limited by the road system, and a check being
made of the hunters through the commercial airways and by a camp
survey, it is the opinion of the author that a very high per cent of
the deer legally killed were checked in the fall of 1961. The
calculated kill for the area described in this report is 25-30 animals.
- 13 -
To arrive at the number of hunters present in the area it is necessary
to assume that the average of five men per camp recorded in the land
use camp survey, Hughson (1962) holds true for private camps as well.
The calculated hunting force is then:
41 land use permits x 5
130 private camps x 5
3 commercial camps x 10
This then gives a hunter success for the area of:
25 x 100
30 x 100
It has been pointed out that a wintering deer density of
four deer per square mile is needed to provide the hunters with any
deer at all. The spring crotesing count indicates a winter deer
density in excess of 4 deer per square mile, but the limited winter
range (less than 5 per cent of six townships covered in this report)
produces a small wintering herd. It would appear from winter aerial
and ground surveys that a total winter range of five square miles
would be the maximum for the Lake Penage area. This results in a
calculated wintering deer population of 83 (I6c5 x 5 « 82. 5» In
the opinion of the Sudbury District fish and wildlife staff the Lake
Penage deer herd has declined to the point where hunter success will
be negligible for some time to come.
Remedial operations have begun on an experimental basis in
the Lake Penage area. The writer, observing the downward trend in
the deer herd, discussed the situation with Fish and Wildlife
Supervisor, C. F. Bibby, in the spring of I960. Mr. Bibby, who is
fully acquainted with the area and was aware of the problem some
years ago, suggested several areas that might be considered for
experimental work. The area forester was approached for his opinion
and ideas and during the winter of 1961 two one acre plots were cut
by the writer with the assistance of five men from the Creighton-
Lively Conservation Club. The areas selected were adjacent to the
1961 yarding area (Map 3) and were covered primarily with pole size
maples, with an overstory of conifer. The plots were clear cut of
hardwood leaving only a few conifer trees standing. Some trees were
cut part way through and pushed over, others were cut off completely.
The "cut and push" system provided some browse during the 1961-62
winter and sucker growth from the ground is expected to provide
considerable browse for the 1962-63 winter. During the winter of
1961-62 with the assistance of the Royal Canadian Air Force Ground
Search and Rescue team the author enlarged one plot to three acres
and cut a third plot of two acres.
It has been found, from the work carried out to date, that
it requires three man-days to cut an acre. The areas are used almost
immediately by the wintering herds and in one instance when the
- 14 -
cutting was carried out a short distance from the wintering herd,
they were attracted from the cover of the area they were frequenting,
across an open area to the cut,. Considerable organization and pro-
vision must be made to carry out a relatively short cutting operation
when using voluntary assistance. This tends to provide an imbalance
between administration and operation and results in an unsatisfactory
work load distribution.
It is evident that remedial work cannot be carried out on
an economical basis by jobbers in this area and any further improve-
ments will have to be done as the experimental work was or on a
strictly district management project basis.
1. A density distribution and dead deer survey was carried
out in the spring of 1962 in the Penage Lake deer yards.
2. It was calculated that the 1961-62 wintering deer density
for this area was 16.5 deer per square mile and the winter mor-
tality was 3«2 dead deer per square mile.
3. The 1961-62 winter deer range is considerably less than
that occupied by deer in 195#-59 in the Lake Penage area.
4# A review of the early logging history suggests a parallel
in the changes observed in the deer herd.
5. The calculated 1961 legal kill of deer for the area was
25-30 animals for a hunter success of 2.5 - 3»0 V er cent.
6. The calculated 1961-62 wintering deer population for the
Lake Penage deer yard is S3 animals.
7» Three experimental areas have been cut as a habitat im-
provement project, a cut and push system provides immediate
browse, while clear cutting results in future growth.
£. Three man-days are required to cut a one acre area.
9* It is suggested that remedial work be carried out as a
district management program, as economical jobber operations in
this area are non-existant at this time.
We are indebted to the Royal Canadian Air Force Ground
Search and Rescue Team headed by F/0 L. Legrange, Falconbridge;
and the Creighton-Lively Conservation Club for the assistance they
provided during the spring deer survey and the winter cutting operations
Thanks are due to Fish and Wildlife Supervisor, C. F.
Bibby and Biologist, D. I. Gillespie, for suggestions and assistance
provided in planning this work. I would like to thank Conservation
Officer, L. L, Trodd, for the assistance he provided during the winter
patrols of 1960-61 and 1961-62.
- 15 -
Mulligan, D» A. and L. L. Trodd I960. Preliminary deer investigations
in the Espanola Forestry-Wildlife Management unit. Onu.
Depto of Lands and Forests Fish and Wildlife Management
Report No. 54, Nov. I960.
Thorpe, T. 1951« A review of the logging and pulp operations
in Sudbury District during the years 1901-1951 Sudbury
District Historical Report. Unpubl.
- 16 -
Map 1 Showing W/A
Survey Area. V///\
- 19 -
1962 WINTER AERIAL CENSUS OF WOODLAND CARIBOU ( Rangifer tarandus)
IN THE PICKLE CROW-ARMSTRONG AND KOWKASH-MARTIN FALLS REGIONS
B e H. Gibson
Biologist, Geraldton District
An aerial woodland caribou inventory was carried out
in 1962 in the Pickle Crow-Armstrong and Kowkash-
Martin Falls regions of Ontario from January 12 to
March 15 . The survey area had latitude boundaries of
50°25*N. and 52°N. Longitude boundaries were 84°30'W.
and 89°30'W. Only one herd of six caribou was sighted
in 24,640 square miles. This herd was not on a tran-
sect. One hundred and eighty- four moose were seen.
There were 4,510 miles of transect flown, with a
total transect area of approximately 2,94$ square
miles. Of this total transect area, 1,865 square miles
were sampled at an average altitude of 800 feet and
1,083 square miles were censused at 1,000 feet. Thus
11.9 per cent of the 24,640 square miles was actually
surveyed. Nine flocks of sharp-tailed grouse were
seen and beaver, otter and wolves appeared to be
numerous over most of the area.
Purpose of the Census
The aerial survey carried out this year is part of a
province-wide assessment of our woodland caribou populations. This
study should help to provide us with valuable management data on
the caribou. Data concerning the total number of caribou, and their
densities and distribution over their winter range are valuable
management aids. Information on the caribous' movements and the
sex and age composition of the herds are also extremely valuable
information derived from a survey of this type.
Method of Surve y
The Geraldton District was asked to survey an area of
approximately 25,000 square miles. This area has latitude boundar-
ies of 50°25 9 N e and 520N„ Longitude confinements were 84°30'V;.
and 89°30*W. *Maps on a scale of eight miles to the inch were
prepared of the survey area. Parallel predetermined flight lines
or transects were marked on these working maps. The western portion
of the area surveyed (from lines 1 to 28 inclusive) was flown at
four mile spacings at 800 feet on the average because of the heavy
forest cover. The eastern portion (from lines 29 to 41 inclusive;
was flown at eight mile intervals at an average altitude of 1,000
feet because the open swamp of this region facilitated the sighting
of animals at greater distances. The higher altitude made naviga-
tion easier in this area where navigation aids, (lakes, rivers)
were fewer. Armstrong, Attawapiskat Lake, Geraldton and Pagwa in
this order were used as bases of operations.
A large map showing the distribution of tracks of moose and woodland
caribou, and sightings of moose, caribou, wolves and sharp-tailed
grouse accompanied the original report. (Maple Library).
- 20 -
The aircraft used was a Beaver; its crew was composed of
a navigator and two observers e A piece of typewriter ribbon was
fastened to the wing strut at the number two position. Only-
animals sighted between the ribbon and the ski were considered
to be on the transect. This gave us an effective coverage of
2 x BOO x 2 or 3200 feet at an altitude of 800 feet, and similarily
2 x 1000 x 2 or 4000 feet coverage on each transect of 1000 feet.
There were 41 of these flight lines for the survey area. Each
transect was 110 miles long, ran approximately north to south
and required usually about 65 minutes to fly at an average air speed
of 105 miles per hour. It was originally planned to fly four lines
a day, but this was only accomplished on three occasions due to
inclement weather experienced throughout the study period. A total
I of 41 x 110 or 4510 miles of transects was flown. Approximately 45
hours of flying tine was involved in flying the transects.
Sightings of moose and caribou or their tracks were
recorded directly on the working map by the navigator. Only
actual sightings of other species (wolves, otter, sharp-tailed
grouse, etc.) were recorded, but not their tracks. The observers
recorded the sightings and the times of each sighting. The nav-
igator also recorded the time of flight over prominent topo-
graphical features as an aid to navigation. At times it was
difficult for the navigator to record all track or animal sight-
ings and still navigate properly. In many such cases, it was
necessary to mark in the observations later on the ground, using
the records of the two observers, In all cases where caribou
or their tracks were observed, however, these sightings were
recorded immediately on the map for greater accuracy.
The survey was originally expected to require approximately
three weeks to complete, beginning January 12. From the start of
the survey, however, inclement and extremely cold weather retarded
the survey. On several occasions, the aircraft became airborne in
-20 degree temperatures with clear skies, only to encounter what
appeared to be clouds of ice crystals which reduced the visibility
to zero, and forced immediate landing of the aircraft or, if
possible, a return to base until flying conditions improved. This
ice-cloud condition was often met while flying out of Armstrong and
Attawapiskat Lake. It usually was encountered on very cold and
clear afternoons. This condition, this winter, has been the worst
in years, according to bush pilots in the area.
Mote: Daily flight logs were kept. On these forms meteoro-
logical data and numbers of animals sighted on each transect were
recorded ? as were observations of interest such as concentrations
of moose and caribou tracks.
( a ) Toporraohy a nd T imber
The area surveyed was comprised of two generally different
topographic and timber types. The terrain and timber were heter-
ogeneous in the western portion (lines 1 to 28 approximately) of
the census area. It was sometimes flat, as in the valleys, and
- 21 -
sometimes steep, with bluffs and hills common in the upland areas.
In the lowland areas, black spruce was the dominant tree species;
jackpine was the principal species on the uplands . Small dystro-
phic lakes were infrequently seen compared with the numerous
"finger" lakes common to ice-scoured plain regions.
The northern portion of the western area surveyed was
comprised of timber composed of about 95 per cent conifers, while
in the south section, about BO per cent of the timber was composed
of conifers. The remaining percentages were comprised chiefly of
hardwoods such as white birch, poplar, willow, tag alder and hazel.
The birch and poplar were generally in isolated, homogeneous
"patches", scattered throughout the expanse of spruce. The tag
alder and willows were usually near the shores of the streams or
lakes. A large burnt-over area of about 50 square miles was present
southwest of Attawapiskat Lake.
East of line 28, approximately, there was a noticeable
transition to flatter, more swamp-like terrain that was consider-
ably more homogeneous than it was west of line 28. Swamp con-
ditions probably made up about 60-75 per cent of this area.
In the swamp areas, the spruce were either in random, small,
isolated and confined patches of large trees within the expanse of
swamp, or were widely scattered and stunted throughout most of
the swamp region. The lakes in the swamp area were small, generally
oval, widely scattered, with low shorelines and generally were typ-
(b) Wildlife Observations
The heavy coniferous region west of transect 28 did not appear
to be utilized to any degree as winter range by the caribou.
No caribou were sighted on the entire 28 transects. A few,
scattered tracks were seen on one occasion each, on lines one
and five. The spruce canopy at times was so heavy that some
caribou could have been present, but not seen. From the scarcity
of tracks observed, this whole area did not seem attractive to
In the portion of the surveyed area east of line 28, the
swamp-like, relatively homogeneous terrain appeared to be
more attractive winter caribou habitat. This appeared to
be particularly true of the north end of the area between
transects 31 to 35 • Along these transects, tracks and
feeding craters were seen on several occasions. In all
cases, the animals appeared to be constantly on the move.
Only six caribou were seen in the swamp area; these were
sighted on February 21, between transects 31 and 32 at
the north end. Five unidentified adults and one unident-
ified calf formed the herd. Presumably, there were one or
more does in the herd because of the presence of the calf.
Attempts to drive the animals from the perimeter of mature
spruce in which they stood were futile, and therefore,
it was impossible to photograph them. The caribou did not appear
to be unduly alarmed, but remained immobile and stared at the
- 22 -
aircraft. It is conceivable that this herd could have
been part of a much larger herd, because of the large
number of tracks seen in the area, compared with the
small number of animals observed.,
Only at the north ends of the transects were many-
caribou tracks sighted . The north boundary (latitude
52°) of the survey area appears to be on the fringe of
the best caribou range, because most of the tracks
observed were near this latitude.,
Sightings of moose in the survey area were numerous,
As many as twenty animals were seen during a day's
flyingo A total of 184 were seen on. the transects.
This number is probably only a small portion of the
total population in the region. It is likely that
many were unobserved in the heavy timber in the west-
ern part of the survey area.
In some localities, the moose tracks interlaced to a
great degree, giving the impression that large herds
were involved. The largest herd seen, however, was
comprised of eight animals sighted on transect eight.
The areas the moose favoured were generally on the
edge of a stream where willows and tag alders were
abundant. The large, burned area southwest of Attaw-
apiskat Lake appeared to contain a large population
of moose. Moose appeared to inhabit the entire survey
area, although they were more abundant in the western
portion of the area surveyed. Moose sightings were
less frequent in the swamp areas near latitude $2°,
where most of the caribou tracks were seen.
There did not appear to be anydirect competition
in any way between the moose and caribou. There
appeared to be separate ecological niches occupied
by both species near latitude 52°.
3c Other Species of Wildlife
Numerous signs of other species were present over
most of the census area. Beaver dams and houses
were abundant, indicating that beaver are widespread
and numerous over most of the region. Otter also were
abundant; it was not unusual to see as many as twenty
sets of tracks of this species in a day 9 s flying.
Only three wolves were seen, although wolf tracks were
common across the area. Nine flocks of sharp-tailed
f rouse were seen totalling 75 birds and averaging
«3 per flock. Fox tracks were numerous, while lynx
tracks were seen infrequently.
- 23 -
Results and Conclusions
(1) Within the 24,640 square miles surveyed there were 41 x 110
or 4,510 miles of transect flown*
(2) (a) The area of transects covered at an altitude of £00 feet
for lines 1 to 2$ inclusive was 110 x 2$ x 3200 , -,*/-£-
square miles. 5280 "~ °^
(b) The area of transects covered at an altitude of 1000 feet
for lines 29 to 41 inclusive was 110 x 13 x 4000 _ ind0
square miles 5280 ~ 1083
(3) The area actually surveyed represented 2948 or 11.9 per cent
of the total area. 24640
(4) No caribou were seen on the transects»
(5) Six caribou were seen off the transects»
From the small number of caribou observed (6), and
from the restricted area near latitude 52° over which any
concentrations of caribou tracks were seen, it appears as if
over 90 per cent of the total surveyed area is not utilized
by caribou as winter range, at least not to any great degree.
It also appears to be conclusive that the caribou prefer the
northeastern portion with its swamp areas fragmented with
spruce "patches" o The western portion of the surveyed area
is relatively unused by caribou They do not appear to
remain any length of time in one locality, as the few tracks
seen indicated that the caribou moved considerably to the west
There were periods during the survey when it was
not possible to fly for a week or more due to unfavourable
weather conditions. In this time, it is conceivable that
there could have been considerable movement of caribou from
one transect to another, hence the same herd of caribou
could be responsible for many of the tracks observed near
latitude 52° o As a result , there might really be a much
smaller number cf animals in the area than would appear from
the numbers of tracks and the area over which they extended.
Just how much movements of this nature occurred is difficult
to ascertain, but they must be considered.
(1) An aerial census cf woodland caribou was expedited in
the Pickle Crew-Armstrong and Kowkash Martin Falls
regions during the winter of 1962.
(2) An area of approximately 25,000 square miles was surveyed.
There were 4? 510 miles of transects flown with a total
transect area of 2,948 square miles. Of this transect
area, 1,865 square miles were sampled at an average
altitude of 800 feet, 1,083 square miles were covered
at an average altitude of 1,000 feet. Also, 2 . 948 or
approximately 11.9 per cent of the total area was sampled.
- 24 -
(3) From lines 1 to 28 the strips were spaced at four miles,
and from 29 to 41 at eight miles, because of the more
open terrain encountered, which facilitated sightings
of animals in the latter region at greater distances.
(4) Inclement weather hampered the census and extended the
duration of the survey by several weeks.
(5) The tracks of moose and caribou were recorded on the
working map. Sightings of other species (sharp-tailed
grouse, wolves, etc.) were recorded also.
(6) The western portion of the census area (1 to 28 approx-
imately) is heavily forested with black spruce in the
lowlands and jackpine on the uplands. Hardwoods comprise
only about 5 per cent to 10 per cent of the timber. From
lines 29 to 41, swamp, fragmented with patches of spruce
was typical of the survey area.
(7) Only six caribou were seen during the entire project;
these were recorded off transect 31» Moose were numerous,
with 1^4 being seen. Moose were most numerous in the
western part (1 to 28) . The entire area is far better
suited ecologically for moose than caribou it seems.
(8) Caribou tracks were most numerous at the north ends of
the transects in the swamp region (lines 31 to 35) near
(9) Caribou do not appear to use any of the survey area
extensively except for the northeast portion along
latitude 52°. This is probably the southern fringe
of the best caribou range, judging from the greater
number of tracks seen near this latitude, compared
with the rest of the census area.
(10) Nine flocks of sharp-tailed grouse, totalling 75
birds and averaging 8.3 birds were seen. Three
wolves were seen. Beaver, otter and wolves appeared
to be numerous over most of the area, as judged from
the large number of tracks seen of the latter two
species, and from the number of houses and dams of
the former species.
- 25 -
LYNX LIVE TRAPPING PROJECT IN WHITE RIVER DISTRICT
Ec J. Mitchell
A live trapping program was undertaken from January 4
to May 22, 1962 to obtain Canada lynx for tagging.
The type of trap used is described and a sketch appended
Three areas where lynx tracks had been observed were
chosen for trapping sites. Five lynx were captured,
ear-tagged and released at the original trapping site.
Recaptures of two different animals were recorded.
Snowshoe rabbit and beaver meat were used as bait. A
total of 14«5 man-days were spent on the project with
an average of 62 trap-set-nights per animal taken.
The lynx live trapping program was originally undertaken
to obtain lynx for transfer and restocking within another district.
This plan was later cancelled and the acquired equipment was used to
commence a lynx tagging project in the Manitouwadge patrol area of
the District on January 4th through to May 22nd.
Traps - A total of six live traps were built, four of
which were used in this project. The traps were built from an
original design believed to have been used in the Banff National
Park for the purpose of live trapping, however, this could not be
verified, nor could the name of the person responsible for the
design be learned.
The following is a description of the trap, a sketch of
which is appended to this report:
Dimensions - 2 by 2 by 6 feet
Frame - 2 by 2 inch wood
Covering - 1 inch chicken wire with plywood floor.
Door - A sliding drop door (originally wood replaced with
metal due to warping)
Trigger Mechanism - When set the door is propped on a pin which is
fastened by a flexible copper wire to the trigger lever, the wire
passing through eye hooks inserted on cross bars on top of the trap.
- 26 -
Trigger Lever - Made of wood and swings freely on a wooden dowl
(broom handle) attached to the sides of the trap at the top. A
red flag is attached to the upper end of the lever the lower end
being curved to receive the baito
A removable plywood panel is situated immediately in front
of the lever on top of the trap for inserting the baitc It is
held in place by an iron rod passing through eye hooks fastened
to the sides of the trap.
Ketchums Kurl Lock Ear Tags #2 and pliers were used with a
piece of wolf snare wire as an aid in the tagging operations.
Snowshoe rabbits obtained by snaring and beaver meat
donated by local trappers were used as baits.
The sites chosen for the sets consisted of areas where lynx
tracks were observed. Three areas were used throughout the trapping
project; maps indicating the site of each trap set accompany this
report. Areas are used in describing the trapping location sites
since as many as three traps were set within a short distance of one
another. These areas are similar in composition being regeneration
jack pine, medium to dense stands, 15-20 years in age, and 15-25 feet
The traps were checked frequently and left not longer than
four days between visits. They were moved to a new location when
tracks were no longer observed or when the traps were left untouched
for a period of two or three weeks. When first set out the traps
were completely covered with jack pine bows to form a covey and set
within a stand of trees, being left in this manner for a period of
two weeks. They were later moved and set on the edges of clearings,
narrow trails and roads not used in the winter. This practice was
continued throughout the remainder of the project after a book on
lynx trapping methods had been obtained. The author expressed his
opinion that trapping in this manner would produce best results.
The lynx were tagged and released at the trap site, if
possible. On two occasions the animals were transported to head-
quarters for tagging and returned to the trap site for release.
In the tagging operation the trap was turned on end limit-
ing the animals movements. A piece of snare wire was formed into a
loop and passed through one square of the wire mesh. It was then
placed around the animal* s neck and the head pulled against the
cage, allowing the tag to be affixed at the base of the ear.
A total of five lynx were successfully tagged and released
at locations shown on the accompanying maps*
* This lynx was captured in a snare by a trapper and
brought to headquarters for tagging. The trapper choked the animal
with the snare, tied it securely while it was unconscious and
transported it in the trunk of his vehicle. It was tagged and
released without difficulty,,
The lynx bearing Tag No, 516 was caught three days after
release, approximately one mile from the site in a No. 4 trap by the
same trapper, It was brought to headquarters in the same manner
described, and released a second time when no apparent damage was
noted to the foot. The trapper declined to kill both these animals
due to their small size«
One lynx, upon being approached while in the trap, repeat-
edly charged the side of the cage inflicting minor cuts to the
nose. The remainder of the lynx showed no signs of being nervous
until the actual tagging procedure commenced. In some cases the
lynx were reluctant to leave the trap when the door was opened
even when no one was near the trap.
One lynx (Tag No. 519) was captured three successive
times in three different traps within the same area, the traps
being situated approximately 1/4 mile apart bordering an old
road. This took place over a period of three weeks.
- 2d -
On one occasion the tracks showed a lynx had passed within
15 feet of a trap with no apparent hesitation. This trap was situated
in clear view bordering an old roado On two occasions the traps had
been set off and the bait taken. It was believed the first animal
escaped through the removable plywood panel which had a hole chewed
in ito On the second occasion the drop door was half closed and
buckled outward. In both cases the identity of the animal could
not be determined due to a recent snowfall.
Numerous fox tracks circled the traps on a number of
occasions, some tracks shewed that the fox had stepped into the
opening of the trap but had not taken the bait. Wolf tracks also
passed near the traps but none came closer than }0 to 40 feet,
Both beaver and rabbit meat seemed to work equally well
A total of 14.5 man-days were spent on the project with
an average of 62 trap-set-nights per animal taken.
The traps were constructed at a cost of $35*00 each. The
estimated total cost of the operation was $450.00.
Average Snow Depth
On two occasions while using the snare wire as an aid to
tagging the lynx were choked unconscious. This resulted from
applying too much pressure with the wire. The lynx revived
but a loss could be encountered if care were not taken in this
The lynx trapped and released were caught in sets left
uncovered. No comparison could be made with the covey sets as
this type of trapping was used for a short duration at the
commencement of the project.
It was noted that more than one lynx travelled within
the same area. This was evidenced by the fact that three lynx were
caught in one area within a period of a month, two being captured
in two days. One lynx was found dead in a snare (Trap area No. 1)
within this period.
- 29 -
Information on the lynx trapped (e.g. sex, length, weight)
was not taken but would prove valuable in future years e It is the
intention at this writing to continue this project in future years
and obtain pertinent information from all lynx captured.
Hawbaker, S. Stanley, 1953 « Trapping North American
AREA NO, 1
SCALE 1 in. = 1 mi.
AjBjC jD j
SITES OF LIVE TRAPS
SHOWING MOVEMENT AND RESETTING OF EACH TRAP
(e.g. Al, A2, A3,)
LYNX RELEASE SITE AND TAG NO.
AREA NO .3
Scale 1 in, = 1 mile
r~\ - SITES OF LIVE TRAPS
A,B,C,D, - SHOWING MOVEMENT AND
RESETTING OF EACH TRAP
(e.g. Al, A2, A3)
RELEASE SITE AND TAG NO
- 34 -
WOOD DUCK BANDING, PEMBROKE DISTRICT, 1961
W. Ro Catton
Assistant Senior Conservation Officer
A wood duck banding program was carried out during
the summer of 1961. Information is given on the
selection of trapping areas, prebaiting and the
construction of bait platforms and traps. Raccoons
presented a serious predation problem. At one stage
of the operations of 30 birds captured 14 were lost
to raccoonsc Twelve raccoons were destroyed at the
trapping sites. A total of 52 wood ducks and one
green-winged teal were banded and released during an
1$ day period from August 12 to 31° Seven birds were
recovered within 50 miles of the trapping site but
one recovery was made in south-central New York State,
approximately 300 miles from Pembroke,
At the request of Head Office a program was undertaken
in 1961 to attempt the marking of as many wood ducks as possible.
The project was carried out in an effort to make a Provincial
contribution to a continental wood duck banding program. The main
purpose of the project was to study, on a continental basis and
in conjunction with numerous .Atlantic and Mississippi States:
(a) the effects of additional regulations on species,
(b) to obtain information on local production and harvest,
(c) to record information on wintering grounds.
Prior to actual trapping, a number of important steps
have to be carried out.
Although other species of waterfowl can be readily
trapped in quantity on sloughs and mustering grounds this has not
as yet proven to be the case with wood ducks. Nesting and other
generally secretive habits of the species dictates that trapping
for juvenile and immature wood ducks be carried out on brood
production ponds. These include not so much marshy sites as
isolated, flooded wooded areas such as beaver ponds; sites con-
taining older and decayed trees (or those for which artificial
nesting sites have been provided and are utilized,) Due to this
trapping of almost inacessible ponds it has been our observation
to date that a great deal of effort is involved in capturing
comparatively few wood ducks.
- 35 -
Once likely trapping ponds are located, they are baited
with cracked or kernel corn; we prefer whole kernels . Trapping
areas more often than not, contain highly acid brackish water.
Such a condition restricts the depth at which the bait may be
seen by ducks and whole kernels were thought to be best for the
In trapping marsh ducks, competition from natural food
did not present any problem until late August when wild rice
kernels and other food forms were available. However, in the case
of young wood ducks, competition on stagnant ponds begins earlier
as duck weed is normally abundant and heavily utilized by ducklings*
In areas where this floating weed is present it was observed that
chances of getting birds to take bait were considerably lessened.
Rafts were constructed of lj inch lumber framing covered
with chicken wire over which burlap was placed . Constructed in
varying sizes they must be restricted to a size permitting easy
handling and transportation.
Purpose of the rafts was to provide a platform over
which bait could be spread* In an effort to entice birds off local
natural food, platforms were placed at depths varying from completely
afloat to six inches beneath the surface. On trapping sites for
which a poor bottom is present, bait was displayed on burlap, hog-
ringed to a section of chicken wire and pegged down to form a
Traps were constructed beforehand and several kinds were
tried; we favoured a collapsible trap made of #16 and #14 ga.,
1 inch by 1 inch welded wire, the lighter recommended. Traps were
put together using hog rings, an average trap measuring 3x6, 5x6,
6x5 feet, base, walls and ends. Tops were made of cotton netting,
however, if there is danger from predation stronger material is
Entrances (one to a 3x6 trap) with an opening of 3 to 4
inches in width are recommended. It is suggested the final few
inches of a funnel be left flexible enough to permit ducks to
squeeze through the opening. Mr. Frank Bellrose who has done
considerable wood duck banding in the United States suggests a
funnel opening of 3-4 inches and a height of 5 inches. It is his
belief that the smaller the trap the more apparent the entrance is
to the duck.
A less cumbersome and somewhat smaller portable trap
is thought to be easier to work with especially when attempting
captures on almost inaccessible ponds.
- 36 -
A small "barrel shape" trap constructed of a page wire
foundation with chicken wire wrapped over it was employed and
found satisfactory on one site., This trap (previously a poacher* s
fish trap) might best be employed where it is hard to locate
larger traps along deep water such as on a river bank. Predation
is the main drawback to this type of trap, although this problem
was found to be serious wherever raccoons made their presence
known regardless of trap types employed.
Previous experience at capturing black ducks in northern
Ontario held little similarity when compared to capturing wood
ducks in raccoon country?
Predation was so serious at one stage that we were ready
to cease our operations having captured thirty odd birds while
losing fourteen to raccoons,. At this point we had developed little
love but a lot of respect for the speciesS
Every precaution should be taken to minimize predation.
The "U.S. Guide to Waterfowl Banding" offers some suggestions.
- covering pans of steel traps with aluminum foil.
- use of corn cobs in attempting to decoy raccoons away from trap
- use of Gonibear traps (to be tried this year).
On one occasion a floating trap was set out some 50
feet from shore where a good concentration of birds existed.
Raccoons continued to prey despite all precautions swimming to
the trap and killing all the captured birds. In areas where predation
is serious it is even suggested banding be discontinued if the pro-
blem cannot be surmounted. When a sure catch is immenent it is sug-
gested twice daily visits be made to trap sites and that the trap be
kept under constant surveillance. At such a site during an evening
visit we observed one raccoon inside the live trap and four other
walking the outside perimeter. Some ten feet from the funnel ent iQ u
the brood of wood ducks fed seemingly unconcerned. Before this trap
was removed three raccoons were destroyed but not before they had
killed two ducks.
Despite fine lxl inch mesh, raccoons seem to be quite
adept at killing ducks from outside the trap.
A total of twelve raccoons were destroyed at trapping
sites. It has occurred to us that Conibear traps would be more
successful than conventional jump traps.
Trapping re suits
A total of 52 wood ducks and 1 green-winged teal were
banded and released during a period covering IS days trapping
from August 12th to 31st. An additional 14 birds were killed by
- 37 -
predators, 1 drowned in a raccoon trap and 2 others released in
poor condition following raccoon attack.
Daily Record of Catch
Funnel too obvious, ducks
got in and out.
Checked twice. A live
decoy left overnight.
Checked twice. Decoy
dead. 1 new bird in
Checked twice. A.M.
results only. Adult +
Flying ducks noted on
corn. New trap set.
New trap set.
Killed 3 coons. Water
too high in Ottawa R.
Killed 1 coon. Water too
deep, took muskrat, snap-
ping turtle and bullhead.
New trap set. 1 mud turtle.
Chicken wire trap set.
River low trap exposed.
Chicken wire trap dem-
olished loss 5 ducks.
Still 10 w. ducks on site,
2 coons. Barrel type set
on deep water shore.
Barrel type successful.
1 coon at barrel trap,
removed. Deep water
floating raft trap set.
Remains of 8 ducks at raft
trap, removed. New birds
taken at another site.
1 new bird was green-
5 were adults, (4 males)
Water lowered; traps high
& dry so dismantled.
- 3$ -
Sex, Age Composition
Species Imm. Males Imnu Females Adult Males Adult Females
Wood Duck 15 23 11 3
Recoveries reported through U S. central banding agency - 8
Under 5 miles from site of banding -
5-25 miles from site of banding - 4
25-50 miles from site of banding - 3
50 plus miles from site of banding - 1*
♦This recovery made in south-central New York State approximately
300 miles from banding site.
Insufficient information was obtained to form a comparison
of attempts to trap flightless breeding pond birds and feeding
ground flyers. Limited experience does, however, lead us to believe
the species may be taken on mustering grounds particularly if there
are some flightless birds in trapping area alsoo
Correspondence with an experienced wood duck bander in
United States suggests best trapping sites are those where wood ducks
feed and not so much where they roost.
Due to the dense raccoon population predation is a
constant threat and every precaution should be taken to guard against
Trapping procedure followed was mainly that of locating
likely trapping sites, prebaiting, trap construction and actual
Traps were set in stages allowing birds frequenting the
site to get used to the trap for 2-4 days depending on bait
Wood ducks are most unpredictable. An area in which
birds are practically eating out of the bander's hand will sometimes
fail to produce while a less likely site will turn out to be a
- 39 -
Trapping terrain such as found in eastern Ontario requires
a good deal of travel in tending traps; for this reason if traps can
be successfully operated on mustering grounds it would cut down on
the effort and could be more productive than trapping brood ponds
When deemed necessary and certainly when predation or
over-crowding is a consideration traps should be tended twice daily,,
Experience to date does not, however, indicate any significant
increase in catch as a result of tending traps twice daily.
Band recoveries although admittedly of little significance
indicate most of the recoveries are taken within Ontario <>
Sex ratios show adult females are taken but are less apt
to be captured than adult males
-A sincere note of thanks to District Biologist,
Jo F. Gardner without whose encouragement the project might have
folded early when predation seemed an insurmountable problem and
also for his assistance in actual trappingo
- Frank Bellrose, U. S. Game Specialist; for his helpful
remarks on trapping techniques
- 40 -
DUCK BANDING - GOG AM DISTRICT, 1961
Assistant Senior Conservation Officer
Duck banding at Halliday Lake was carried out for
the sixth consecutive year. A marked decrease in
duck numbers over the past several years was noticed
this year; 112 ducks banded compared with 163 in I960
and 193 in 1959. Daily records of waterfowl trapped
along with a comparison of daily records of ducks
banded from 1956 to 1961 are presented, as well as
a breakdown of the cost of the operation.
The duck banding project at Halliday Lake, commenced on
August 9th and was completed on September 14th, for the sixth
consecutive year. Conservation Officers supervised the project
with the assistance of Raymond McKay, Treaty Indian from the
On August 9th the grass was cut at all the banding
sites, traps pulled out into view, and the sites were baited
with cracked corn. Water levels were approximately IB inches
higher than the previous year. The second visit was made to
Halliday Lake on August 14th, the traps were partially erected,
and the sites were re-baited. At Dog and Baker traps there was
no acceptance to the bait. It was thought that the water was too
deep for black ducks to feed on at both these traps.
Because of the soft bottom and deep water, Dog trap
was moved one mile upstream to a new location. At Baker trap,
a platform was built out of poles covered with burlap and
camouflaged with mud. Cracked corn was then scattered over the
platform for bait.
August 21st, camp was set up at Halliday Lake, and the
erection of the traps began, all sites were re-baited. On August
23rd all the traps were completed and in operation.
The following table gives a comparison of duration and
success of the project since 19561-
Year Banding Commenced Banding Ceased Total Days Total Banded
(10S Black Ducks, 4 Mallard Ducks)
As the above table shows a decidedly decrease in ducks
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banded this year, we are at a loss to know what factors contributed
to this decrease. Ducks are scarce and do not inhabit the area
in as great numbers as in the previous years.
Four ducks were killed by predators while the banding
stations were in operation, one mink was caught, banded and
released in Noble Township, approximately 20 air miles from
place of capture. A pair of Bald Eagles was seen on several
occasions in the vicinity of the banding sites.
Fifteen ducks that were banded in previous years were
recaptured this year, while only three were recaptured in i960.
Baiting of the sites ceased on September 13th, with
the last ducks being banded on September 15th. The traps were
dismantled and stored away for future use.
All the unused bait was tramped into the mud, as in
previous years when the baiting ceased and the ducks did not
return to the baited areas.
An enforcement patrol was carried out for the next three
days, sixteen duck hunters were checked and all made the comment
that they had seen few ducks, and those shot carried no bands.
Although the water level was consistantly high all
season, there was an above average crop of wild rice. This was
the first season in the last three that the largest percent of the
crop was not lost to the ducks because of high winds shelling the
rice off the stocks before it could be utilized by the ducks.
When water levels are high, platforms should be built
as described on the first page of this paper, to improve the
If duck banding is to be carried out at Halliday Lake,
some thought should be given to possibilities of the whole
project being done by Treaty Indians under the supervision of the
Department of Lands and Forests. This year one Indian was trained
in all phases of the work and we feel confident that Raymond McKay
is capable of handling the duck banding program with the help of
another Treaty Indian. We also think that arrangements can be
made with the Department of Indian Affairs, to hire two Indians for
the duck banding project. They could take their families to
Halliday Lake and along with the banding program, they could harvest
wild rice, thus utilizing a large crop now going to waste. This
would increase the income for two Indian families at a time of the
year when there is little work for them.
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Daily Record of Ducks Trapped 1961
Total per Day
Total by Species: 4 Mallards
108 Black Ducks
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Comparison of Daily Record of Ducks Banded 1956 - 1961
August and September dates
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Cost of the 1961 Duck Banding Project, exclusive of
Conservation Officer's wages and transportation are as follows:-
Grain for bait $ 63. 00*
Wages (Raymond McKay) 202.40
Gas for outboards, lights and cooking 30.00
Outboard motor oil 3 .$3
Other Supplies (wire and rope) 9.61
TOTAL - $ 424.96
* Because of the few ducks feeding on the corn, we used 3/4
of a ton of corn in 1961, whereas in previous years one
ton was used.
Special Appropriation from Head Office - Salaries - $ 202.00
Maintenance - 260.00
Total Cost - 424.96
$ 33. 04
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FRENCH RIVER ANGLING, 1961
J. M. Sheppard
Despite the increased fishing pressure that developed
with the completion of Highway 69 in 1952, fishing in
the French River area has remained one of the best in
Sudbury District. A creel census conducted over a 12
week period from July 17 to Oct. 2, 1961, revealed
that 4,957 fish of five species were caught in the
Main French River between Parisien Rapids and Flat
Rapids by $64 anglers. The average catch was 5»7
fish per angler with the average fishing success
about 1.25 fish per rod-hour. 4,032 hours of angling
were logged by the interviewed fishermen for an average
of 4^7 hours per sportsman. The average fishing suc-
cess for yellow pickerel was .57 fish per rod-hour
while that for smallmouth bass was .46 bass per rod-
hour. It is the writer' s opinion that fish taken in
the Main French River are not from the same popula-
tion taken by sportsmen and commercial fishermen in
The French River has over the past years earned itself a
reputation as Sudbury's leading, and one of Ontario's finest, sport
fishing areas. With the completion of Highway 69 in 1952 many of the
visiting anglers and some of the local sportsmen were ready to write
the area off as a continued source of angling pleasure. Many changes
have taken place since 1952 — more cottages have appeared, more
tourist camps have been built and more tourists have visited the
area, but the fishing has remained as one of Sudbury's best.
When physical changes take place about a semi-wilderness
area and access is improved the innate response of ardent sportsmen
is to condemn the advancements of civilization and look for more
distant fields. It was hoped that the data gathered and the result-
ant report might graphically show to those who, in the past have
fished in the French River waters, that while the angling success
may not be equal to that of the days of its early angling history it
still provides some of the best fishing in accessible Ontario.
There are many methods available for the censusing of the
sportsman's creel — some result in an extensive coverage of the
fishery, others produce intensive information. At the suggestion of
the District's Fish and Wildlife Supervisor the French River creel
census was designed to provide maximum information from a limited
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portion of the river* s total area. Mr. C. Shortts of Lift-the-Latch
Lodge was approached to seek the assistance of his guides in provid-
ing the data for this report. Spot checks were made throughout the
census period by the author and the guides were interviewed as fre-
quently as possible. In addition to giving maximum coverage of that
portion of the Main French between Parisien Rapids and Flat Rapids
(Map 1) several neighbouring lakes were sampled throughout the sea-
son. Two of the latter appear in this report for comparative pur-
poses. Form 1 was designed and used throughout the census period.
The census period reported on this paper covers twelve
weeks of the angling seasons July 17 to October 2. The data, while
recorded daily, have been tabulated on a weekly basis the week begin-
ning on the same date as that of the McGregor Bay Creel Census (Silva
and Gillespie, I960) and the Mindemoya Creel Census (Zimmerman, 1961)
for comparative purposes.
864 anglers were interviewed during 52 angling days and
they reported a catch of 4,957 fish of five species, viz: yellow
pickerel ( Stizostedion vitreum ) ; smallmouth bass ( Micropterus
dolomieui ) ; yellow perch ( Percaflavescen s) ; northern pike ( Esox
lucius ) and maskinonge ( Esox masquinongv T . A total of 4,032 hours
of fishing effort or an average of 4»7 hours per angler was exerted
to produce an average catch of 5»7 fish per angler. The seasonal
fishing success was slightly less than one and one quarter fish per
The average angling success for the yellow pickerel during
the twelve week period was ,57 fish per rod-hour varying between a
low of .29 fish per rod-hour and high of 1.32 fish per rod-hour.
Smallmouth bass showed an average success rate of .46 fish per rod-
hour with a range of .20 to .58 fish per rod-hour , Table 1 provides
the data grouped on a weekly basis with monthly totals. Table 2
provides the weekly and monthly fishing effort, fishing success and
angling census days.
Dalton and Cat lakes are also reported on in this paper.
Both are primarily smallmouth bass lakes approximately 60 acres and
330 acres, respectively. Both produced an angling success during the
census period of 1.72 fish per rod-hour, although in terms of small-
mouth bass Dalton Lake exceeded Cat with a smallmouth bass success of
1.64 fish per rod-hour to .90 fish per rod-hour. Table 3 provides the
creel data of both lakes.
Considering the catch per unit effort for yellow pickerel
the monthly figures suggest a decrease in the availability of this
species to the fisherman in August from the month of July, followed
by an increase in September and October. This trend closely parallels
the findings of Zimmerman (op. cit.) in his work on Lake Mindemoya.
The catch per unit effort of smallmouth bass in this portion
of the Main French River does not completely coincide with the trend
observed in McGregor Bay (personnel communication, Gillespie) j but
does follow fairly closely the seasonal increase noted at South Bay-
mouth (personnel communication, Budd) .
- 4# -
Table 4 provides the temporal distribution of the catch-
effort for these two species taken in the Main French River during
Maskinonge fishing in this portion of the river was not
particularly significant in 1961. The 13 reported in this paper
represents about 50 per cent of the harvest of maskinonge in an
average year in this portion of the river.
Throughout the season there was a significant change in
the size of the fish caught, particularly in the yellow pickerel
portion of the creel. During most of the early stages of the creel
census the yellow pickerel ranged between 3/4 and 4 pounds, with lg
pound fish being the most commonly taken size. Late in the season,
particularly in the latter part of September and early October
pickerel weighing 4 to 12 pounds were regularly landed. Smallmouth
bass averaged 1-3/4 pounds throughout the season; perch ran about g
pound or 8" and pike were taken between J and 4 pounds. The maski-
nonge of this portion of the river run up to 3$ pounds, but the thir-
teen reported in this paper averaged 11 pounds.
Discussion and Conclusions
The creel census carried out in that portion of the Main
French River between Parisien Rapids and Flat Rapids during the 1961
season may be somewhat biased insofar as most of the anglers contri-
buting to the creel data were guided by some of the area's most ex-
perienced guides. It is the author's opinion that these men through
their daily pursuit of the fish have significantly increased their
knowledge on the movements and location of the fish and subsequently
are able to assure the average angler of better success than might
normally be expected.
Since I960 this District has carried out several creel cen-
suses on lakes (most of them large bodies of water) in the effort to
determine the quality of fishing produced by these waters. It has
been difficult to set a standard of quality (or quantity) that should
be acceptable to our visiting and resident anglers as so many factors
have to be considered. First and foremost is the difference in
angler wants. For example, anglers interviewed on McGregor Bay are
omnivorous in their piscine diet — anything from northern pike to
rock bass is acceptable. Sportsmen fishing George Lake on the other
hand are specific — they're seeking lake trout. Here at the French
pickerel and smallmouth bass are king, with maskinonge a very desir-
able but evasive creel species.
As a comparison to the pickerel fishing of the French,
Zimmerman's (op. cit.) data from Lake Mindemoya have been used. The
seasonal availability of pickerel on Lake Mindemoya was .3$ pickerel
per rod-hour compared to .57 pickerel per rod-hour for the French
River area. For comparable periods Table 5 has been constructed to
show the temporal changes in angling success in the two waters.
Differences in the hydrographic qualities of these two waters undoubt-
edly account for some of the differences shown in Table 5> but in
the author's opinion the major difference is in the type of angler
using the two waters and the assistance they receive from the guides.
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It is interesting to follow what seems to be shifts in the
pickerel habitat as the season progresses. The hypothesis that this
species moves along the river is based on the habits of the exper-
ienced guides in seeking certain waters at certain times of the year.
Map 1 while showing the location of the creel census area also pro-
vides, along with the legend, a chronological picture of what has
been assumed to be the movements of the pickerel.
Dalton and Cat lakes provided us with some very interesting
information on the angling success of small lakes that are typical
for the area. Both showed a fishing success of almost one and three
quarter fish per rod-hour, which is good fishing by most standards*
Dalton was particularly productive of smallmouth bass with a seasonal
success of 1.64 smallmouth bass per rod-hour. Both lakes produced
more fish per angler than did the French.
Over the past few years with the increase in sport angling
there has been a growing suspicion among anglers that commercial fish-
erman operating in Georgian Bay at the mouth of the French are compet-
ing directly with the sportsmen for pickerel. If this hypothesis is
true for the Main French then the pickerel must travel past what the
author considers are impassible barriers. Map 1 shows these barriers,
Recollet Falls to the west provides the most imposing restriction on
the movement of fish with a vertical drop of more than seven feet.
1. 4,957 fish of five species (yellow pickerel, smallmouth bass,
yellow perch, northern pike and maskinonge) were caught in the
Main French River between Parisien Rapids and Flat Rapids by
£64 anglers during the 52 day census period.
2. 4,032 hours of angling were logged by the interviewed fish-
ermen for an average of 4«7 hours per sportsman.
3» The average catch was 5«7 fish per angler and the average
fishing success was about 1.25 fish per rod-hour.
4. The average fishing success for pickerel was .57 pickerel
per rod-hour, while the average for smallmouth bass was .46 bass
per rod-hour - both high by this Districts standards.
5» Dalton and Cat lakes both provided excellent fishing success
with a reported 1.72 fish per rod-hour.
60 The bass fishing success of Dalton Lake was three and one
half times that of the Main French River.
7» The seasonal changes in the catch per unit effort statistics
for pickerel paralleled the changes in the Mindemoya success.
$• Seasonal changes in the bass catch per unit effort re-
sembles the changes experienced in South Baymouth, but deviates
slightly from that noted in McGregor Bay.
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9. Maskinonge fishing for this portion of the French was about
50 per cent of the normal.
10. The data presented in this report may be higher than would
normally be expected inasmuch as the anglers interviewed were
guided by some of the best guides in the area.
11. It is the author* s opinion that the fish taken in the
Main French are not from the same population taken by sportsmen
and commercial fishermen in Georgian Bay.
The author would like to express his gratitude to Mr. Cam
Shortts and the merry men of Lift-the-Latch Lodge who contributed
considerably to the collection of the data for this paper.
Silva, H. R. and D. I. Gillespie, I960. The warm water sports
fishery of McGregor Bay. Resource Management Report No.
60, pp. 32-60.
Zimmerman, F. A., 1961. Some observations on the quality of angling
in Lake Mindemoya, Manitoulin Island, 1961. District Report
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TABLE 1 - WEEKLY AND MONTHLY SUMMATION OF
FRENCH RIVER CATCH DATA BY SPECIES
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TABLE 2 - FISHING EFFORT AND SUCCESS
AND ANGLING CENSUS DAYS
— - - - -~— " ~ ~ ~~~ — — — -
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TABLE 3 - CREEL DATA - DALTON AND CAT LAKES
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TABLE 4 - CATCH PER UNIT EFFORT
DATA MAIN FRENCH RIVER, 1961
TABLE 5 - COMPARATIVE TEMPORAL DISTRIBUTION OF
CATCH PER UNIT EFFORT, LAKE MINDEMOYA
- FRENCH RIVER PICKEREL, 1961
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ONTARIO DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS
FRENCH RIVER - DAILY CREEL CENSUS
NO. OF FISH REPORTED
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TAXONOMY OF LAKE NIPISSING PIKE-PERCH
Parry Sound District
Some doubt has arisen concerning the variety of pike-
perch being taken by anglers from Lake Nipissingo
This has posed a potential law enforcement problem.
Work done in 1961 indicates that the majority of these
pike-perch do not fit the Hubbs and Lagler description
of blue or yellow pike-percho While all the pike-
perch have been treated as yellow pike-perch
( Stizostedion vitreum vitreum ) for the purposes of the
Fishery Regulations, features such as body colouration
and small average size suggest that some of them are
blue pike-perch (S. vitreum glaucum ) . Harkness
(1) stated in 1936 that the original population of the
lake consisted of blue pike-perch, but introduced
yellow pike-perch were supplanting the native variety.
The possible continued presence of blues presented
an enforcement problem in that the catch and
possession limit on blues, is 35 fish while the limit
on yellow is six fish. The closed season in April and
May in Lake Nipissing applies only to yellows. In an
effort to answer the question regarding species this
investigation was undertaken. It is recommended that
the Fishery Regulations be changed to treat blue pike-
perch the same as yellow pike-perch in Lake Nipissing,
During the summer of 1961 a total of 51 pike-perch taken
by anglers in Lake Nipissing (including the French River above
Chaudierre dam) were examined for identification features. The fish
were measured for total length, and comparisons of inter-orbital
width and orbital length were made. The body and fin colouring
were noted. Lengths ranged from 11 inches to 20 inches, the average
being 16.6 inches.
Inter-orbital Width and Orbital Length
Table 1 illustrates graphically the distribution of fish
in this respect. The minimum ratio was 1.31 and the maximum was
2,0, The average for 51 fish was I.56. According to Hubbs and
Lagler (2) the bony inter-orbital width measures 1.1 to 1.4 in the
length of the orbit in young and half-grown yellow pike-perch to
about equal to the orbit in adults, while for blue pike-perch the
ratio measures 1.4 to 2,0 times the length of the orbit. In the sample
from Lake Nipissing only three fish showed inter-orbital width versus
orbital length ratios under 1.4o On this basis alone, the majority of
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the pike-perch examined during the study had this characteristic in
agreement with the Hubbs and Lagler definition of blue pike-perch.
Thirty-seven of the fifty-one fish were judged to have
body colour characteristics most resembling that of yellow pike-
perch, while the remainder had colour characteristics suggestive
of the blue variety. There appeared to be a grading-in of colour,
and it was difficult to decide in many cases. It is worth noting
that one of the most "blue" specimens had a relatively low orbital
ratio (1.43) •
Lower Fin Colouring
According to Hubbs and Lagler (2) the lower fins of yellow
pike-perch show yellowish colouring, while those of the blue are
bluisho Only one specimen was judged to have bluish fins; the
remainder being yellowish.
Solely on the basis of orbital ratio, it would appear
that this pike-perch population is mostly made up of blue pike-
perch. The less reliable characteristic (involving opinion) of
colouration, indicates a predominence of yellows. Perhaps hybri-
dization has taken place.
Lake Nipissing pike-perch are known to spawn extensively
on rocky beaches, as well as in streams. It would be advisable to
carry this investigation further by comparing characteristics of
fish spawning on beaches with those spawning in streams to see if
distinct groups of pike-perch can be isolated at this point.
Information collected so far indicates that the regulations
concerning the taking of pike-perch should be changed to take into
account the possible presence of the blue pike-perch in Lak&
Nipissingo The angler at large is not yet aware of the fact that
he might lawfully take 35 pike-perch in a day the year round from
this lake Reduction of the daily limit on the combined varieties
of pike-perch in Lake Nipissing to six fish, and placing a closed
season on blues in the spring, would not at this time meet with any
resistance from anglers.
The pike-perch present in Lake Nipissing, are not in
complete accord with the definitions for the subspecies vitreum
and glaucum, as defined in standard reference work (Fishes of the
Great Lakes Region, by Hubbs and Lagler) .
(1) Harkness, W. J. K., 1936.
Biological Study of Lake Nipissing,
Printed in "North 3ay Nugget", February 21, 1936,
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(2) Hubbs, Carl L„, and Karl F. Lagler, 1949.
Fishes of the Great Lakes Region.
C. W. Douglas provided technical guidance in this
Footnote; In 1961, after Sinclair had completed the measurements
of most of his series of pike-perch, a rough draft of his report
was sent to main office together with recommendations concerning
amendment to the sections of the Ontario Fishery Regulations
concerning the catch limits of blue and yellow pickerel . From
this emanated Section IS (j) which now reads "six yellow pickerel,
six blue pickerel or six of any combination thereof", and completely
removes the difficulty heretofore presented by the difficulty in
distinguishing the blue and yellow races of this species, a subject
of perennial complaint in many areas through the Province <>
(Carman W„ Douglas, Sept. 7/62
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SOME OBSERVATIONS ON A WINTER CREEL CENSUS
ON TWO LAKES IN THE KILLARNEY AREA, 1962
L. E. Drolet
Conservation Officer, Sudbury District
A creel census was carried out during the winter
months on Mahzenazing and Killarney Lakes. A total
of 1$7 anglers checked on Mahzenazing Lake had
fished for 1,041 hours and taken 5$ yellow perch,
9& northern pike and 11 yellow pickerel for a catch
per unit effort of 16 fish per 100 rod-hours. Sixty-
one fishermen checked on Killarney Lake had fished
for 2#4 hours and taken 24 lake trout for a C.U.E.
of 9 fish per 100 rod-hours. The average size
of the lake trout was two pounds.
With the opening of the Killarney Road (Highway #637) in
the fall of 1961 several new lakes were made accessible to the
average sportsman of Sudbury District. To measure the angling
pressure and success of two lakes, that the writer thought might
be opened by this new access route, a creel census was carried
out for most of the winter months when travel conditions permitted.
Map 1 shows the location of the two lakes. Mahzenazing
Lake is fed from Tyson Lake to the north by the west branch of
the Mahzenazing River. The water level of this lake is controlled
by a coffer dam, built in the spring of 1961, at the south end
of the lake. This impoundment has raised the lake*s level seven
feet and it is the writer* s opinion that the resultant angling
success has decreased.
Mahzenazing Lake might be described as a typical entrophic
lake with deep cold water being almost totally absent. Yellow perch,
northern pike, pickerel, largemouth bass and smallmouth bass are
the fish species known to be present.
Access to the lake was facilitated in the late fall and
early winter by a gravel road being kept open by a construction
firm until February 6th, 1962. After this date, travel was limited
to the most ardent sportsmen, who were willing to snowshoe or ski
at least a mile to the lake.
Killarney Lake is one of the District's most beautiful
lakes with great towering hills surrounding most of its shores.
Typically an oligotrophic lake, it is very deep with relatively
few large aquatic plants present. It is known to maintain
populations of lake trout, herring, ling, smallmouth bass and
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Access to this lake is limited by a walk of almost three
and one half miles over rugged terrain. The winter sportsmen on
Killarney Lake are typically residents of the town of Killarney
and occasionally visiting anglers from the city of Sudbury.
Mahzenazing Lake was selected as it was only 22 miles
from the writer's headquarters and could be checked almost daily
or whenever parked cars or tracks suggested the lake was being
fished. Killarney Lake, because of its relative inaccessibility,
was checked whenever tracks indicated the presence of sportsmen.
This was chiefly on week-ends.
The anglers were generally interviewed in the late
afternoon or as they left the lake at which time their creel data
were recorded in a diary. This information was transferred to a
creel form that will be used during the summer months to record
the catches of anglers using Georgian Bay waters between Killarney
and Collin's Inlet.
187 anglers were checked on this lake in the period
January 15th to March 24th, 1962. While fishing 1,041 hours these
anglers caught 167 fish made up of 5# yellow perch, 98 northern
pike and 11 yellow pickerel.
The data were compiled on a semi-monthly basis and appear
in Table 1. 67 per cent of the anglers checked were interviewed
in the first 19 days of the creel period. This was due to the
closing of the gravel road and the deep snow impeding the access
of the sportsmen.
The average season catch per unit effort was 16 fish
per 100 rod-hours. Table 1 in addition to the catch data shows
the seasonal changes in the C.U.E.
Information was recorded on the quality of the catch.
The yellow perch caught were 4-6" in length; the northern pike
ranged between one pound and eight pounds, with a two pound fish
being the modal size. The yellow pickerel showed a range of one and
one-half pound to six pounds with the modal size being three pounds.
The quality of the visiting fishermen on Mahzenazing
Lake is interesting. Although the fish were the primary purpose
for them visiting the lake, the opportunity to get out of the
city must have been an important consideration. While access
to the lake was good, many of the visiting groups consisted of
families, ranging from the parents down to infants. Later on in
the season, when deep snow blocked the road, the anglers were
chiefly men, occasionally accompanied by their sons.
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Local residents from the town of Killarney ignored this
lake and preferred to do their fishing in more inaccessible lakes
where they took lake trout. The increase in the sportsmen pressure
has also been ignored by the residents, as there are very few camp
operators among them and they assume that visitors will seldom
visit the relatively inaccessible lakes they fish and complete
Twenty-four lake trout ranging in size from one-half
a pound to 3i pounds were caught by 61 fisherman, fishing 2&4
hours. This provided an average season catch per unit effort of
9 lake trout per 100 rod-hours. The modal size of the lake trout
caught was two pounds .
Of the 24 trout caught, only one was taken on a live
minnow and three were taken on artificial bait. The balance were
caught by bobbing with pieces of mature sucker as bait.
The census on Killarney Lake, as previously pointed out,
was conducted whenever anglers were believed to be present on the
lake. It is the writer v s opinion that the census covered almost
100 per cent of the angling pressure. Of the 61 anglers checked,
#5 per cent were residents of the town of Killarney.
Weather conditions limited the movements of the anglers
on Killarney Lake. Deep snow and slush restricted travel to the
south end of the lake which is not recognized as the best fishing
area. Success in 1962, while only a subjective appraisal by the
writer appeared to be considerably lower than that of previous
1. A creel census was carried out during the winter months of
1962 on Mahzenazing and Killarney Lakes.
2. One hundred and eighty- seven anglers were checked on Mahzenaz-
ing Lake and 61 on Killarney Lake .
3. Some 167 fish (yellow perch, northern pike and yellow pickerel)
were taken by the anglers using Mahzenazing Lake and 24 lake
trout were taken from Killarney Lake .
4. The catch per unit effort (C.U.E.) for Mahzenazing was 16 fish
(of all species) per 100 rod-hours, while for Killarney Lake
it was nine lake trout per 100 rod-hours.
5. The fishermen using Mahzenazing Lake (at least when access
is good) were family men, who took along their families for
a days outing. Local residents made up the largest part of
the sportsmen using Killarney Lake.
6. The heavy influx of sportsmen into the Killarney area with
the opening of Highway #637 has had no apparent effect on the
attitudes of the local residents.
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7. No conclusions on the quality of angling have been drawn, as
similar creel censuses, with the exception of D. R. Hughson 9 s
work on Lake Penage, have not been conducted in other district
- 65 -
TABLE 1 - MAHZENAZING LAKE WINTER CREEL DATA, 1962
TABLE 2 - KILLARNEY LAKE WINTER CREEL DATA, 1962